Surveillance

Bill Would Require Warrants for Electronic Surveillance

Rein-in snooping a tad

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The FBI and other police agencies would be required to obtain search warrants before reading Americans' e-mail or tracking their mobile devices under a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives today.

It's not a new proposal: Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat whose district includes the heart of Silicon Valley, announced almost exactly the same measure last fall. But because the clock ran out without Congress acting, she's trying a second time.

"Fourth Amendment protections don't stop at the Internet," Lofgren said in a statement today. "Americans expect Constitutional protections to extend to their online communications and location data."

Last year's version had zero co-sponsors, making it more of a symbolic measure than something designed to move quickly through a GOP-dominated House. This time, Lofgren's bill has two other sponsors, including a Republican, Ted Poe of Texas.